Case Study: Art Deco Display for Clevelander Hotel

By Dean Schwartz(SWAG Master): If you’re a South Florida resident then you likely know the Clevelander Hotel is one of the most iconic hotels in all of Miami Beach. With an outdoor swimming pool in the middle of the bar, a beautiful, all-encompassing art deco design, and great people-watching, the Clevelander guarantees a one-of-a-kind experience on every visit. Not to mention, it’s also one of the top-grossing bars in the country. As we say here in South Florida, “it’s so Miami”, so you can imagine our excitement when they reached out to us for some SWAG help!

Case Study: Art Deco Display for Clevelander Hotel

art deco clevelander


Not too long ago, the Clevelander team came to us looking to have some merchandised t-shirts reprinted, meaning shirts that they’d already had produced. Naturally, rather than just do the job, we asked to see where the shirts would be sold at the hotel.

They told us the shirts would be in a nondescript corner and would likely receive little to no attention. Once upon a time, they were sold at a display which doubled as the front desk, and sales were great. After a complete renovation bringing the hotel to its art deco roots, shirts up front didn’t fit their new look. The only drawback? Sales tanked. Our first challenge:

  • Figure out a way to sustain sales despite it’s location

Instead of reprinting shirts and cashing in on a quick sale, we charged ourselves with the daunting task of how to boost sales while not cheapening the image of the hotel’s iconic lobby. Our SWAG Shops division, a partnership with Errez Design, went to work designing a unit that met the following criteria:

  • The merchandising unit had to look great and fit seamlessly into the lobby
  • The merchandise had to be visible but stay behind lock and key to avoid theft
  • Versatile so that it could be moved, if necessary
  • Agile enough to accommodate different types of SWAG, from t-shirts to board shorts to caps to cups, etc. (we never stop at one product, but you already knew that)


  • In the end, we created four different sized units that stepped down to mimic a stairway. The unit appeared to blend right into the hotel.
  • The display units were made from a combination of wood, blue and clear acrylic, and then covered with a mirrored laminate.
  • To give it that little extra SWAG and make it “so Miami”, we topped our design off with a lady mannequin, greeting the Clevelander hotel guest and beckoning them to bring home a piece of the Clevelander “SWAGGER.”

art deco display


Sales were up-and-running, and the next step was to help the Clevelander grow. Whether it’s helping with marketing materials, sales training for their staff, or just coming up with unique SWAG for them to sell, we’re in this for the long haul.

  • The design has remained ever since we made those changes about 5 years ago.
  • The Clevelander continues to place orders with SOBO, and we’ve enjoyed a mutually beneficial partnership for the better part of the decade.
  • The SWAG we provided the Clevelander didn’t only provide an extra source of revenue, but it’s also helped to market the hotel all over the world. International customers flock to the iconic hotel and luxurious beaches year round, and the SWAG they purchase is taken back home where those who otherwise may have never heard of the Clevelander learn about their rich cultural history in Miami.

We will do everything we can to make this a win-win relationship. And, in the end, we achieved our goal.

Stay tuned for more about our work with the Clevelander. Let us know if your hotel or restaurant is looking to either add an additional source of revenue or revamp your existing program to reach its true potential. Call us today at 888.752.0432 or email to brainstorm some ideas. Interested in seeing more recent options? Click here.

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